The Multiple Audience Question

What is the aim of animated movie production studios Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks? Creating content that keeps children enthralled and teaching valuable moral lessons. But there is something more to it . . .


A favourite past-time of children through generations is to go to the movies. There is something magical about seeing your favourite characters on an enormous screen. And even downloading isn’t stopping this to the same extent as other segments of the society.

But there is one thing that stands in the way of children seeing every new movie they want as soon as it comes out in the cinemas . . . Parents.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing. There needs to be a balance in school holiday activities and children can’t return to school after the holidays with square eyes. But there is something that can be done to remove this obstacle. Something which is just as important as keeping children enthralled at the movies.

Winning over the parents!

Think about some of the original Disney animated movies. Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo are all great examples of quintessential children’s entertainment. But there are only so many times that parents can sit through these beautiful tales. Especially when children want to watch them over, and over, and over, and over again.

Now fast forward to more recent animation feature films. Offerings such as the Shrek franchise, Despicable Me, Cars and the upcoming Lego Movie. All these films meet the brief of keeping children enthralled and providing those valuable moral endings. But they also have a second aim to entertain the accompanying parents with a whole bunch of inside jokes that go straight over the children’s heads!

By providing value for the gatekeepers that usually keep children away from the movies, these gatekeepers become advocates for future excursions because they are as excited as the children to see the next instalment. And this is due to the fact that all parties are receiving value from the experience, not just the children.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this will make every parent drag their kids along to see every animated release because nobody has enough money or time to cover the number of children’s releases each holiday. But what it does do is decrease some of the resistance that would have previously turned into an automatic ‘no’ from the cinema gatekeepers.

If the lesson from these powerful animation houses leaves you with one take away, it is one question. Do you know who is really using your product? Answering this question properly could open up whole new markets and increase the number of times your customers repurchase.

If it’s good enough for Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks, then it is certainly good enough for me!